Sunday Morning Music: Wendeyaho

This is based on a Native American hymn traditionally sung to the four directions in the morning by the women of the community. The harmonization, arrangement, and orchestrations are my own, as well as the video performance. I’ve done several settings–orchestra, solo piano, and choir–the piano solo (with some soft string pads) is presented here.

“Wendeyaho” is often described as a “Cherokee Morning Song.” However discussion of it on the Internet indicates that the word, “Wendeyaho,” is not contemporary Cherokee, although it may have its origins in an ancient form of the language. The translation I was able to piece together from various internet sources is as follows:

Translation – We n’ de ya ho
Freely translated: “A we n'” (I am),
“de” (of),
“Yauh” –the– (Great Spirit),
“Ho” (it is so).

Feel free to download the 2 page sheet music PDF from THIS LINK so you can play it at home, yourself. You need to do some tricky shifting of hands to cover all the parts in the last two variations, but it’s doable, I promise. If you don’t want to download anything, you can follow along on this graphic below.

The choir at Lakewood UCC, St. Petersburg, FL, where I’m the music director, enjoys singing my choral arrangement of Wendeyaho. It’s very simple and effective. You can see it HERE.

Starting to get caught up on the backlog

With the post, Working Musician During a Pandemic, I said that I would be posting tracks from my music director job as they occur (typically, that’s 3 a week) plus one a day on the other days until I’m caught up on all the things I’ve done or used for my job during the pandemic. I’m almost caught up! Once I’m caught up, I’ll only post the continuing ones (as I said above, typically 3 a week…Wednesday, Friday, Sunday).

On the music videos, I’ve been putting a title page and starting the music following it…in other words, the title page is silent. I’m only doing that because I don’t know how to superimpose the titles on a video itself. The problem with doing it this way is that if you want to listen to all the music videos (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUn2RmCFhW2vbOdz7n0Ez-FjHcbFoUMam), there’ll be a silence between every tune where the title page is. That may be a good thing, or it may be a bad thing.

If you’d like to hear all the stuff, just as music, with NO silences in between, then link to https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/music-at-lakewood. That’s not all my music, but it’s all the stuff I’ve used in my job since the pandemic began and my job became 100% cyber.

If you’re interested in more of my stuff, my SoundCloud site has almost all of it back to the stone age: https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones. That profile page spotlights a few pieces that I recommend for first time listeners. I’m listing those below plus a few others.

Fantasy for Harp and Chamber Orchestra
The Geography of Dreams
Meditations and Reflections for solo piano
Tales of the Laughing Wizards
Irish Tunes